Volume Three Hundred Forty Seven

Billy Horschel gets win number one, Tiger gets some approval, and Greg Norman wants better drug testing.

Hittin' the LinksHello again golf fans and welcome to another edition of Hittin’ the Links. So what do you think Tiger had to do to get Lindsey Vonn’s parents to come out publicly and give him the thumbs up? Expensive dinner perhaps, extravagant gifts, maybe he just wrote them a blank check? Anywho, you just can’t seem to look anywhere at the supermarket checkout line and not see a picture of the two of them smiling ear to ear. Personally, I hope them the best, all we can hope for in this life is to be happy and they seem to be enjoying each others company, a lot!

In this edition of HtL, we check out Tigers newest approval, then look into Greg Norman’s thoughts on drug testing, and take a peek at the three-legged beast of the Zurich Classic. Also, we peruse a recent golf memorabilia auction, find out what Jack thinks about balance, and do a wrap-up of the week’s events. Read on!

Why Tiger Should Have Withdrawn From the 2013 Masters

After getting incredibly unlucky, Tiger took a two stroke penalty, but he missed an opportunity to improve his image.

Thrash TalkTiger Woods should have withdrawn from the 2013 Masters.

Yes, it was more than he had to do, because the rules state that he was able to finish out the tournament, but withdrawing would have been the right thing to do.

On Saturday morning I got to my club as I do for most Saturday mornings for breakfast with my regular group. By that time ESPN and Golf Channel had already been talking about the drop. One of my good friends came in and I told him of the ruling and he immediately said that when he was watching the event he had told his wife after Tiger made the drop that it was not a correct drop. Sadly I did not get to see it live that day because I was working but I certainly saw the replay on all of the sports channels.

Volume Three Hundred Forty Six

Australia’s Golden Boy, Adam Scott, wins the first Masters for Aussies.

Hittin' the LinksHello again golf fans and welcome to yet another Hittin’ the Links. Australia is celebrating! After years of runner-up finishes the Aussies finally have their green jacket. I personally celebrated that yet another long putter captured a major championship, long live anchoring!

In this edition of HtL we begin with a look at how Greg Norman spent Masters Sunday, then look again at the Tiger debate, and check out the big number Bubba made. Also, we peruse the Holly Sonders photo shoot, find out what David Duval had to say, and do a wrap-up of the week’s events. Read on!

2013 Masters Final Round Chat

The 2013 Masters – who will win? Sneeeeedeker? El Pato? An Aussie? Tiger (nah)?

2013 Masters Tournament Staff Picks and Questions

The 2013 edition of the Masters has all the makings of a great event. Let’s see what the staff expects for the event.

Thrash TalkHello friends. For me the official start of spring is the sound of the opening tee shot at Augusta National. This year the man on form and who is likely everyone’s favorite is Tiger Woods. He has started the season with three wins and hasn’t looked this good going into the Masters for at least the past five years. To add to the drama Phil has already won in Phoenix this season and is also looking good. Then last week Rory McIlroy – who has been pretty awful this season – has seemingly pulled his game together and finished second at the Texas Open. There are no shortage of storylines going into the event.

This year here at Thrash Talk we have decided to change it up by allowing a different forum member to answer each our five questions along with the staff. We had some great responses. Without further ado here are everyones thoughts.

Titleist Introduces the New 712U Forged Utility Iron

Titleist introduces the new 712U for players looking for a long iron replacement but don’t want hybrids.

Bag DropIf there is one thing you can say about the golf equipment industry, it is that it is one of trends. Over the last handful of years we have seen larger club heads, better balls, adjustable clubs, etc. One of the biggest equipment advances over recent years was the hybrid iron. Originally designed with the weekend golfer in mind, the hybrid was designed to replace the long irons but play more like a fairway wood. They helped players launch the ball higher and further than they ever could with their long irons.

However, even though the demand for hybrids are high and they have a place in many bags, some still don’t like them. For players in this category there have been a few options. For years now, Mizuno has offered the Fli-Hi irons which have become very popular, and last year we saw Callaway jump in the mix with the X Utility iron which was in Ernie Els’ bag when he won the British Open Championship. Starting in mid-May, golfers will be able finally be able to get their hands on Titleist’s offering in this category, the 712U, which was introduced on the Tour late last year.

Volume Three Hundred Forty Five

Its Masters Week again!

Hittin' the LinksThe Azaleas are blooming, the pimento sandwiches are made, and the green jackets are pressed…it must be Masters time. Hello, golf fans and welcome to the Master’s edition of HtL. Its my favorite time of the year when everyone turns their attention to the city of Augusta, Georgia and the Masters. It was only two years ago when I myself finally had the chance to walk those hollowed fairways and see what all the fuss was about. Augusta National is beautiful on television, but one cannot completely understand its grandeur without seeing it firsthand. Its like no other place on earth.

In this edition of Hittin’ the Links we begin with the Masters Website, then see who’s giving Rory money now, and find out who Phil played a practice round with. Also, we check out Furyk’s two drivers, investigate lefty’s “special club”, and do a wrap-up of the week’s events. Read on!

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 Review

We take an in-depth look at EA’s newest Tiger Woods video game.

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 Box ArtAround this time one year ago, I wrote a review of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13, using a copy of the game I bought myself. I’ve been a loyal consumer of the Tiger Woods series of video games since about 2002, when the games were much, much simpler.

After a few off years, Tiger 13 was a step in the right direction, and Tiger 14 continues that. There are some bad things, and a few things that had me ready to snap my controller in half, but I can say with certitude that Tiger Woods 14 is the best game to date.

It keeps Augusta National, which was introduced in the 2012 version, and has expanded to include all four major championships (the real names, not just “Summer Major Championship”). The LPGA joins the PGA Tour, and more courses are included standard that in recent year.

More importantly, for the first time since the mid-2000s, former PGA Tour pros are in the game. Tiger 14 includes an assortment of major champions, including Arnold Palmer, who joins Tiger on the cover. The game retails for $60 on Xbox 360 and PS3, or $70 for the Collector’s Edition (if you buy the regular edition, you can always upgrade to the collector’s via DLC, for about $20). Kinect and Move support remain, though I have neither, so I won’t be reviewing them.

Let’s dive in.

Lost My Heart in San Francisco

Michelle Wie has won a few times on the LPGA Tour, but by and large her career has been marred by an inability to get out of second gear, what should she do now?

Thrash TalkFor Michelle Wie, the title of this Thrash Talk does not perfectly apply. She went to Stanford, which is in Palo Alto, but it is in the Bay Area, so close enough. Sadly, Wie is likely to go down as one of the biggest busts in women’s golf. Her parents have gotten and deserved most of the blame for the tragedy that has been her career, but at some point Michelle has to take some responsibility.

For starters, she should have never played in all the men’s events she played in. I think the first Sony Open was great, my advice would have been you missed the cut by one, so we’ll give it one more year. After the second year which wasn’t as good it would have been the last time she played in a men’s event. Instead she entered the John Deere Classic got heat exhaustion and the whole thing was a mess. This mistake was on her parents. They should have realized that her entering men’s events was a circus and publicity event, and should have done a better job protecting her. They should have told her to play with the men is an admirable goal but let’s win some events on the women’s tour and establish ourselves as Annika did before entering the circus.